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Israel: Dozens Of Iranian Military Targets Hit In Syria; Israel PM: Golan Heights Attack "Crossed A Red Line"; Russia Urges Restraint In Israel-Iran Conflict; Trump-Kim Meeting Set For June 12 In Singapore; Merkel: Europe Must Remain United; Source: AT&T Paid Trump Lawyer Cohen $600,000; Trump Lawyer Under Fire For Peddling Access; "Washington Post" Op-Ed Slams U.S. Vice President Mike Pence; Aired 12-1a ET
Aired May 11, 2018 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, the proxy war is over as Israel confronts Iran with Syria caught in the middle.
It's on the date and place have been set. New details on the historic summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.
And cashing in bigly on the presidency, turns out Michael Cohen made a lot more of his access to President Trump than previously reported.
Hello. Welcome to all of our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.
Israel says it has inflicted heavy damage on Iran's military infrastructure inside Syria and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the overnight air strikes were an appropriate response after Iran in his words crossed a red line in a missile attack on Israeli in the Golan Heights.
The region remains tense but relatively quiet right now amid international calls for calm. Israel, though, is warning any further aggression will be met with overwhelming force or as Mr. Netanyahu put it, whoever hits us will get hit seven times over.
CNN's Ian Lee joins us now from Jerusalem. So, Ian, this military offensive by the Israelis appears to have been planned for some time. It seems though just waiting for the right moment and that moment came when those Iranian missiles were fired from Syria.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. You know, we've been seeing how Israel watches the neighboring civil war in Syria. They have drones, they have intelligence gathering inside Syria and on that Golan frontier.
And they've just been collecting information, a bank of targets, a list of where Iran is situated waiting for that right moment and it did appear to come yesterday when Israel says Iran fired those rockets at their positions.
Now Israel intercepted the ones with their iron dome system that were going to land in Israel, a number of them fell short in Syria, but they responded quickly nonetheless. They hit dozens of targets.
The defense minister said they hit almost every single Iranian target there. We also heard from the prime minister about that. This is what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Yesterday, I sent a clear message to the Assad regime, our action is aimed at Iranian targets in Syria, but if Syrian Army will act against us, we will against it. So, this is exactly what happened yesterday. Batteries of the Syrian Army fired ground to air missiles against us and we hit them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And that's the thing is Israel has said that they're going after Iranian targets and that if the Syrians got involved they would go after them too. The Syrians did fire anti-missile, aircraft batteries, and Israel struck those too, although, that's not the first time we have seen Syrian defensive weapons try to take out Israeli air strikes.
But it just shows the tensions and really when you watch what Syria does, Israel does, it does highlight the capabilities really, John, of both sides as well.
VAUSE: There is a total absence of international outrage, not even Iran's allies are speaking out and Iran seems to decide it's just better to pretend all of this never happened?
LEE: Yes. We're still waiting for some sort of comment about this rocket attack, the Iranians haven't said whether they carried it out or not, and it does seem like we are hearing crickets, John.
But we did hear from Rouhani, he spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He said that he doesn't want to see a rise of tensions. That's something we've heard from a number of people.
The Russians have also said they want tensions to ease both sides to show restraint. Even Israel has said that they don't want this to escalate any further. So, this current situation, the current rising of tensions seems to have subdued for now.
But really, you know, when we saw Iran in the past, when Israel has struck them, they say they're going to get revenge. Possibly yesterday was their revenge, but with Israel striking again, we'll just have to wait and see if anything more will develop.
VAUSE: Well, and to that point, Iran had not responded in any significant way to months of Israeli air strikes on Iranian military targets inside Syria. If the 20 Iranian rockets fired on Israeli targets in the Golan Heights was that long awaited retaliation, it all seems to be fairly weak tea.
[00:05:05] LEE: Yes, really, it does when you consider that the majority of those rockets actually didn't land in Israel. They fell short in Syria and the rest were intercepted by Israel's iron dome system. You know, they did say that they were going to be retaliation of some sort. We just didn't know when or where it was going to be.
And according to the Israelis, this is just one rocket launcher that fired all of these rockets at Israel and Israel took that out and also took out a large number of Iranian infrastructure according to the Israelis. So, was it worth it? Was that one rocket launcher worth getting hit, all those different targets all around Syria?
I mean, we have to wait and see what the Iranians have to say. Again, they've been tightlipped. So, we'll see if they have more to come, but you're right, Israel has been striking Iranian targets for quite some time.
Most noticeably when last February Israel says an armed Iranian drone infiltrated Israeli airspace. Israel shut it down. They retaliated by going after that base where the drone took off. That base T4 has been hit a number of times by Israel.
In that operation, though, Israel lost one of their jets to Syrian anti-aircraft fire. Israel then retaliated and went after more targets inside of Syria. You do have this back and forth. The question, I guess, again is, is Iran going to try again?
VAUSE: Do they just retreat for a time, lick their wounds and wait for another moment. Ian, thank you. Ian Lee live for us in Jerusalem.
Russia is one of the countries urging diplomacy to end this crisis. Moscow has a significant stake in Syria and notably the Russian president has a close relationship with the leaders of both Iran and Israel. More details now from CNN's Matthew Chance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Along with other countries, Russia has been expressing its concern and alarm at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran. The kremlin is urging restraint and calling on both countries to use political and diplomatic means to resolve their standoff.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, an official there says that Moscow is in contact with all sides, underlining that Russia has uniquely good relations both with Israel, whose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was recently in Moscow attending Russia's annual victory military parade.
And also, with Iran, with which Russia is fighting alongside in Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president. Now Moscow has not confirmed that it's engaging in any kind of formal mediation, nor will it comment on whether it was consulted about the Israeli plans during the prime minister's visits.
But the kremlin said he has strong interests in easing tensions currently in Syria. Russia has been committed to propping up President Assad for several years and has deployed vast military resources to do so, and to impose a degree of Assad control over larger areas of the country.
That control as well as Russian military assets in place in Syria, its naval and airbases maybe threatened if the Israeli/Iranian standoff were to escalate and the conflict in Syria were to broaden. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: More new details now about the upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. It's now set for June 12th. It will be held in Singapore. The city state was the leading choice of many of the U.S. president's senior aides, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The announcement came just hours after three Americans held in North Korea returned to the U.S. and Donald Trump spoke more about their release and the summit during a speech to supporters in Indiana just a few hours ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Kim Jong-un did a great service to himself, to his country by doing this, but those hostages came out with respect. We didn't pay for them. We're going to set the table. We're going to make a great deal for the world, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN's Ivan Watson live now from Seoul. Ivan, clearly, the U.S. president is very optimistic and if you look at the front page of North Korea's main newspaper, Kim Jong-un seems invested as well. He says shaking hands with the secretary of state, quoted, as saying, he appreciated Donald Trump's deep interest in these talks. So, the signs are good.
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They sure are and it's all the more striking when you consider that last November North Korea was fling a missile and there were new sanctions being slapped against it. You had travel advisories from the State Department warning Americans not to travel to North Korea just last January.
[00:10:09] And now in the span of about 40 days, you've had Mike Pompeo traveling twice to Pyongyang and meeting twice with the North Korean leader. And these compliments coming back and forth between President Trump and Kim Jong-un himself. And they used to be lobbing insults at each other. Now when Mike Pompeo travelled to Pyongyang in addition to trying to secure the release of these Americans, he was trying to set up the framework for the upcoming summit between Trump and Kim, which will now be in Singapore on June 12th.
And he also made it clear that he wants to try to create a framework for a big, historic deal, a security agreement between North Korea and the U.S. We just heard from President Trump there just raising the expectations, saying we're going to make a deal.
But what would that deal entail from the U.S. side? U.S. government officials have made clear that they want nothing short of complete, verifiable, irreversible, denuclearization.
That would seem to imply getting rid of the types of weapons that North Korea just tested last September in its sixth and most recent nuclear test. The big question, is that what North Korea is ready to put on the table? And we simply don't know yet -- John.
VAUSE: I guess that's the question because we now have the logistics which are being settled, but the terms of the actual negotiations seemed to be a mystery right now. Is there any idea when there will be resolution to that or do these two men just go into this meeting and we just hope for the best?
WATSON: Presumably they're more kind of lower level contacts that will be going on and some important ground was -- some important agreements must have been reached between Pompeo and Kim Jong-un during their 90-minute face-to-face encounter in Pyongyang.
But yes, we don't quite know the nuts and the bolts of this. And I don't think that the North Koreans have quite spelled out publicly what they want. In the past they've wanted the removal of U.S. forces from South Korea.
And we have heard reports that President Trump has floated plans -- or suggesting plans for some kind of a drawdown of the roughly 30,000 U.S. forces here in South Korea. The South Korean government, of course, has made it very clear that it would like to reach some kind of peace agreement with North Korea.
So, there's going to be a lot to look at in the coming weeks, and, of course, all eyes will be on these two leaders when they finally meet face-to-face in Singapore -- John.
VAUSE: And the clock is ticking, four weeks away, I guess, before this historic meeting in Singapore. Ivan, thank you. Ivan Watson live for us there in Seoul.
Moscow is warning any gains made by the Iran nuclear deal have suffered significant damaged because the U.S. pulled out of the agreement. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the remaining members of that agreement need to figure out how to uphold the deal, which he says is important to regional stability. We get more now from Atika Shubert. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, earlier this morning hosted French President Emmanuel Macron. He was in Aachen, Germany accepting the Charlemagne Award for his vision of Europe.
Both leaders had a chance to speak, neither mentioned Iran specifically, but what both leaders emphasized is that Europe must remain united even as the United States withdraws from international agreements such as the Iran deal or the Paris accord on climate change.
Here's what Chancellor Merkel said specifically, quote, "It is no longer such that the United States simply protect us, but Europe must take its destiny into its own hands." Now Germany, France and the U.K. are all trying to figure out how to deal with the repercussions of U.S. sanctions being re-imposed on Iran.
There are a number of big European companies that do business in Iran. These are names like Lufthansa, Siemens, Volkswagen, Airbus out of France among other, and according to the State Department, these companies would have somewhere between 90 to 180 days to wind down their businesses in Iran or face the consequences from the United States.
Now it's not an unprecedented situation, there is a historic parallel. In the 1990s European countries did not agree with the policy of imposing sanctions on Cuba, and as a result, European countries basically ignored the U.S. sanctions and did not enforce and recognize the penalties on European companies.
So that is certainly one route that Europe could take, ignoring U.S. sanctions on Iran and holding fast to the Iran deal. Atika Shubert, CNN, Berlin.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Cashing in bigly, we are learning just how much money Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made by promising access to the president. It's 50 grand a month from one company alone. More details next.
VAUSE: There are new details about Donald Trump's long-time personal lawyer and his lucrative business of allegedly peddling access to the president. A source said AT&T paid Michael Cohen $50,000 a month for virtually all of last year and that was for insight about the president.
We should note here AT&T is trying to buy CNN's parent company, Time Warner. OK. Move on. The president's Justice Department has been trying to be looks like it's going ahead. Another Trump attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said the president was not aware Michael Cohen was profiting from his ties to Mr. Trump.
AT&T wasn't the only company lining Cohen's pockets. Here to discuss all of this, we have the host of "Mo Kelly Show," Mo Kelly, and conservative commentator, Joe Messina. OK, good to have you with us.
Mo, first to you. When the Stormy Daniels scandal first broke, it was seen as a sort of salacious personal scandal involving the president and a porn star. It was a bit of a side show, totally unrelated to the Russia investigation.
Only now the more we learn about Michael Cohen's business dealings, the more it seems that the Russia investigation and the Stormy Daniels scandal it's all merging into one.
MO KELLY, HOST, "THE MO KELLY SHOW": It's almost unintended consequences. I'm quite sure the president didn't think that Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal would have any real impact on his administration. But once again when you follow the money, it's obviously coming from a similar source.
If we get away from the salaciousness, there are some serious fundamental issues of whether they were peddling influence, it may not be illegal, but it's awful swamp like.
VAUSE: It's very swampy. Joe, to this point about, you know, Russia investigation merging into the Stormy Daniels one, at least two companies have made payments to Cohen, that Shell company, they've been questioned by Robert Mueller, the special counsel.
JOE MESSINA, RADIO HOST AND CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: I get what you're saying. Just because he took money from those companies, do you really think that means that President Trump knew something about it? It happened with the Clinton Foundation, what does that mean? Every time somebody game them money that gives them influence?
KELLY: There's a difference because this was specifically to move forward possibly legislation to gain insight on what the president thinking economically. Whereas the Clinton Foundation, if you want to somehow say that they were giving these donations, which were charitable in nature, for a foundation in the hopes of possibly getting something.
[00:20:05] That's a little bit more of a reach because this is -- we are seeing direct connection, a direct point, we are going to the president's lawyer, one person removed.
MESSINA: President's personal lawyer, which had nothing to do with what was going on in the White House, that's a stretch, too.
VAUSE: OK. Well, I guess, one of the issues is that the Clinton Foundation set up as a charitable organization. Michael Cohen was actually selling himself as someone with access to the president. It seems a couple steps closer looking dodgy.
KELLY: Well, at least Michael Cohen felt that he had that access. VAUSE: Once again it seems the vice president, totally unaware of anything to do with anything going on in the White House. No idea about Cohen's so-called business. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: What I could say is that that private matter is something I don't have any knowledge about and I think the White House issued a statement saying the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Mo, Mike Pence seems to be out of town at every key moment over the last year and a half or he just doesn't know what's going on. I see nothing, hear nothing.
KELLY: I'm actually going to not fault the vice president for doing his job in the sense of he is going to trumpet the president's message. He's not supposed to be the story and he's supposed to stay out of the way --
MESSINA: Doing a great job of that.
KELLY: He is staying out of the way. If anything, it's almost like he's protecting himself while protecting the president.
VAUSE: OK, it's been a year since the special counsel was appointed to investigate Russia's role in the election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. And again, Vice President Mike Pence says enough. Times up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PENCE: It's been about a year since this investigation began. Our administration has provided over a million documents. We've fully cooperated in it and in the interest of the country, I think it's time to wrap it up. I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Joe, Benghazi lasted more than two years. Whitewater went on for eight years before there was a final report handed down. Why is that this investigation only gets one year?
MESSINA: I think it's politics. You have the Democrats asking for the e-mail scandal to be cut short and get on with the investigation and stop. They all do it. We know both sides do it on a regular basis, but in this case, I want to go back, where's the direct line. It's been going on longer than a year. This has been going on about a year and a half --
VAUSE: (Inaudible) 13 Russians have been --
KELLY: Mueller hasn't presented his evidence -- MESSINA: He indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies and now
they're calling him on the --
MESSINA: One of the Russian companies came back to him and say -- (inaudible) we're not ready.
KELLY: Five months ago, he was asking questions about Michael Cohen, he's way ahead of us. Until Bob Mueller actually presents his evidence, we can't say he doesn't have any.
MESSINA: If he has evidence, where's the direct tie between Cohen to the president to Russia?
VAUSE: Mueller is not presenting anything out there yet, but we are learning slowly. What we know is just a fraction of what Mueller knows, but it does indicate that it is moving closer to that point.
KELLY: Negotiation of the interview with the president, I mean, we all know that's the end game at this point.
VAUSE: That's never going to happen.
KELLY: Of course.
VAUSE: It's never going to happen because Donald Trump has not sat down with a non-Fox news outlet for more than a year. Do you think he's going to sit down with Robert Mueller for an interview?
KELLY: Ego is a dangerous thing.
MESSINA: Would you walk into a trap?
KELLY: I wouldn't, but I'm not Donald Trump. I would never do it.
MESSINA: As they say -- I lost my train of thought. When it comes to the grand jury, the old joke, they could indict a ham sandwich. You get in there with that information, then what happens? He doesn't know what Mueller is going to ask him, doesn't know he has, doesn't have.
KELLY: And Bill Clinton still did it.
VAUSE: He laid it out, two and a half hours of it, a look at the (inaudible) got out of that. Conservative commentator George Will wrote a scathing opinion piece about Mike Pence. "The oleaginous Mike Pence, with his talent (inaudible) and appetite for obsequiousness could Trump knew, become America's most repulsive figure.
And Pence who has reached this pinnacle by dethroning is benefactor is augmenting the public stock of useful knowledge because this is the authentic voice of today's lickspittle Republican Party. He clarifies this year's elections, vote Republican to ratify groveling as governing." You know, Mo, will does lay bear what he believes is Pence's decision to abandon principle to support this president, and it could be argued Pence is not the only one.
KELLY: Yes. You could make that argument, but I think he is -- when you say consider the source, George Will has been a respected conservative voice. It sounds different and he should be received differently than if someone were on the far left.
[00:25:12] He is someone who has lived and breathed the Republican Party and conservative ideals for generations, plural, so I may not agree with his tact in the way that he's using those odd homonyms, but at the same time, he is in touch with, I would say, the heart of the conservative movement.
VAUSE: Very quickly, we are out of time, but I want to finish off on this, this is a sad moment for the White House. Let's check in and see how this "Be Best" campaign is working. Here's part of a CNN report from earlier.
White House aide said on Thursday morning about John McCain, quote, he's dying any way. That's coming from a White House official. She has since apologized, but this doesn't seem entirely surprising after all, it's the president who sets the tone.
MESSINA: People have their own tone too. It was a lousy comment, whoever said that, it was uncalled for. Do we blame the president for everything? Everybody around him, he takes the blame for.
KELLY: He does set the tone for the people who work under him. Since there will not be a rebuke coming from the president then that means he condones the remark on some level.
VAUSE: I remember the days when George W. Bush would wear a suit the oval office, there just seemed to be this respect for the institutions, which doesn't seem to be there.
MESSINA: I think your point is really well taken. I think when you put your shoes up on the desk in the oval office that's not called for either.
VAUSE: I agree with that too. Thank you. Good to see you both. The Mo-Joe is back.
Still ahead, Israeli has targeted Iranian military assets in Syria after Israeli troops were attacked in the Golan Heights. We'll take a close look at where this conflict maybe heading.
Also, ahead, a new warning for Hawaii as the Kilauea Volcano could go ballistic. We'll explain in a moment.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. A historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un will take place June 12th in Singapore. Mr. Trump has said he's hopeful there will be an agreement at the end and believes the release of three Americans from North Korean prisons is an optimistic sign.
AT&T confirms it paid Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, for advice on its purchase of CNN's parent company, Time Warner. A source says Cohen received $600,000 from the telecom giant last year.
And Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani says the president was not aware Cohen was profiting from their relationship.
Israeli says they shut almost all of the Iran's military assets inside Syria after a missile attack, targeted Israeli forces in the Golan Heights. Israeli military claims Iranian troops in Syria that attack. Meantime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned whoever hits us will get hit seven times over.
A father and a son have been busted in publicly shamed for a scam that involved fake space suits, magnetic rice and some very real money. Here's CNN's Michael Holmes.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A crime that's out of this world. A father-son duo dressed in space suit paraded Thursday through a police station in India's capital. After they were arrested for allegedly conning a businessman out of more than $200,000.
BHISHAM SINGH, DEPUTY COMMISSIONER, NEW DELHI POLICE (through translator): The con man told the businessman that there's this metal called rice puller which attracts grains towards it and that NASA pays millions for such a metal.
HOLMES: A rice puller is a made up object which the pair claim was a piece of compass struck by a thunderbolt, yes, a thunderbolt, giving it the power to attract rice. Delhi police, say the con men coated a copper plate with a liquid magnet and inserted magnetic wire in pieces of rice, having fake scientist pretend to perform experiments --
SINGH: They charged fees for testing which required a space suit, chemicals, and a scientist.
HOLMES: And charging $18,000 for the space suit's each use. Delhi police say the duo has made a living, selling fake objects like rice pullers, magic mirrors, and dual headed snakes. The investigation is ongoing by the Delhi police with additional arrests still on the way. Michael Holmes, CNN.
VAUSE: Well, A Hawaiin paradise gets a new warning, watch out for gigantic boulders. That's the latest threat from a very active volcano. We'll be back in a moment.
VAUSE: We'll back now to our top story, the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, more on that. CNN's national security analyst, Gayle Tzemach- Lemmon joins us now from Denver, Colorado. Gayle, thank you for being with us. Good to see you. We know what the Iranians did last night but it seems more important what they did not do. They did not fire missile at highly populated areas. They did not target crucial Israeli infrastructure even if they have that capability. They did not order Hezbollah to respond with any of the 100,000 or so rockets on the board of Israel and Lebanon. Why?
GAYLE TZEMACH LEMMON, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: They have too much to lose. They have so many gains that they made these past several years in the Syrian crisis. They really are close to getting a lot of what they wanted in terms of rising influence in the region, so why jeopardize all of that right now. And I think that the quiet is a product of that understanding that they have much more to gain by keeping the status quo than by demolishing it.
[00:35:07] VAUSE: I mean, I guess that's one explanation. But if you look even at the missiles which were fired, I mean this has got to be, you know, the great retaliation after months of Israeli air strikes, 16 of those missiles fell short and four were taken out by the iron defense system. And this is supposedly the elite Quds Force, commanded by Qasem Soleimani, the leader who never lost a battle in Iraq and Syria over the past four years. This is a start of an all-out war. Did someone forget to tell Tehran?
LEMMON: Well, I think that the whole point of the first here question that no one wants it to be the first step of all-out-war. I mean, you see very controlled responses from Iranian side that made it very clear they haven't even barely acknowledged. They say that they don't even have troops inside Syria, right? So I think that everybody feels like there is a very fragile stability there trying to maintain. And for Iran, the gains in the past several years in Syria are things that they do not want to lose. And so, they do not want to actually see that all go away.
The question is whether they telegraphed a great deal by the retaliation in showing that actually there was much less bite than barks in terms of their response.
VAUSE: The other thing about - which is unusual about this is that the International Community has been supportive of Israel, there's been no one complaining, no protests. You know, generally support of this, you know going after - you know carrying out this military offensive. Even the foreign minister of Bahrain who twitted this, "As long as Iran continues the current status quo of its forces and rockets operating in the region, any country - including Israel - has the right to defend itself by eliminating the source of danger."
Bahrain has no deflect relations with Israel and you know, the area that was targeted by Iran, the Golan Heights was annexed by Israel from Syria. And internationally, it's considered occupied territory.
LEMMON: Listen, I think you and I talked about the Syrian conflict for years, John. And I think it is never been more complicated than right now where really the enemy of my ally may or may not be my friend., right? And so, you see a lot of countries who are very worried in the region about rising Iranian influence more than happy to let Israel do the work of taking out some of the Iranian military might that are now housed inside Syria. And in fact, there were some people who are talking on Twitter today, about you know, it's sort of only half joking, that Russia and maybe even the Syrian regime were none too sad to see Israel take out some of the Iranian capability inside Syria.
VAUSE: But can you remember the last time an Arab leader actually offered support for an Israeli military offensive publicly?
LEMMON: Strange times - yes, I mean, strange times make incredibly strange bedfellows. - in making the difference or the fact that Iran is surging in terms of influence -- I mean, I was on the ground in Syria last week and almost everybody would talk to you about the rising Iranian footprint, the sense of rising Iranian influence from Iranian forces there on the ground. And it is not lost on gulf nations they do not want to see Iran have the capabilities that I now have inside Syria.
VAUSE: Speaking of strange times the U.S. president was back in his happy place a few hours ago. There was a campaign in Indiana where he was cheered for scrapping the Iran nuclear deal. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Among the many grave national security blunders of the previous administration, one of the world's worst was the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
With all of that being said, who knows, because we're putting the harshest, strongest, most stringent sanctions on Iran.
And hope to be able to make a deal with them, a good deal, a fair deal, a good deal for them, better for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Apart from the fact that seems to be how highly politicized this whole Iran nuclear deal has become in the U.S. What are the chances that Iran will actually head back to the negotiating table to sit down with Donald Trump and work out another really, really good deal?
LEMMON: It is unlikely. But where we are with North Korea was also unlikely. So I do think that we are in unprecedented and rather uncharted waters, right? The Iranians today will say no we're not going to make a deal, but those sanctions bite and they are getting tougher. And so, it remains to be seen whether some kind of outreach could actually bear fruit. It is hard to imagine and I know former Obama administration officials say that it's impossible. [00:40:01] But I think we are living in unprecedented times and we will have to wait and see whether Iran, which has always been quite through in its calculations, decide that there is some gain because the sanctions are hurting and that there should be some kind of discussion to be held.
VAUSE: OK. As you say, we never thought we'd be at this point with North Korea, so anything is possible. Gayle, as always, thanks so much. Good to see you.
LEMMON: Thank you, John.
VAUSE: Hawaii's volcano troubles, actually getting worse. Kilauea has been oozing lava and toxic gas. Geologists are warning now that steam explosions could send boulders, rocks, and ash flying into the air. Actually about anything here from pebbles to boulders weighing several tons.
Volcanist Ivan Cabrera is giving me a close eye on everything that is happening in Hawaii. I just promoted you.
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You did.
What did you say?
CABRERA: How did you promote me?
CABRERA: Volcanist. That's a new one. Lovely to see you, my friend, out there in L.A., you're closer to Hawaii than we are here but we've been following it to even closer than that because this thing has every time I have come to work as has allowed us another surprise or another threat that has been added to what has already been, just a calamity for our folks across the states there in the big island.
OK. So, there's the plume that we've been talking about. That's not a current picture. It's just set up what we have so far and what we're expecting as the additional threat. Lava activity you saw rising from the fissures, of course, that's the lava that brought down those 30- some odd structures folks' homes, unfortunately there.
Well, that activity is actually paused here. So, the lava has cooled enough where we don't have that lava spewing out. The problem is the fissures have not completely sealed. So we're still getting the sulfur dioxide. It's a nasty toxic fume that comes out when you melt rock essentially. And that is registered very high level, so very unhealthy to be out there and it really just overtakes you very quickly.
Now, the issue is this is the new threat here. We are on watch for an explosive eruption. Not just the fissures, which could be additional, but watch this loop here, see the lava going down the crater? That is not good. Because where it is headed as it continues to sink beneath the surface, it's headed towards the water table. Think of Thanksgiving when we tell you that you shouldn't put the -- throw the frozen turkey into a frying pan, same kind of concept. When you get temperature differences that quickly like that, you can get phenomenal explosions, and that's what happens here as the lava continues to drop down to the water table. And by the way, that's very close to happening right now. All the rocks along here have fallen in there, so it's just basically all set up, John, with all that mess up there. Once that hits the water table, there it goes and it is going to spewing out all sorts of things including boulders coming out of there. So this is not a good situation, the latest threat in our ongoing Kilauea volcano situation.
VAUSE: It is incredible how long this has been going on for and probably will be going on for. Have you ever taken a bear for ice cream? Just asking.
CABRERA: I've what?
VAUSE: Taking a bear for ice cream? Because that's what - they did in Canada.
CABRERA: Of course, absolutely.
VAUSE: OK. Well, you'll be interested in this one then.
Zoo keepers in Western Canada thought they were just giving a bear a frozen treat but they were the one who took the licking. They took the one-year-old Berkley the bear through a drive thru for some ice cream, pretty cute, but officials didn't think so, they've now charged the park for taking the bear out of the zoo without permission. The park officials say, "We're sorry, didn't mean to do it.". They were planning to plead guilty. Say the bear is tame and was chained. Our wild life groups said the trip sends the wrong message. Never take a bear for ice cream.
Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. Stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up next. And then I will be back with another hour of news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.
[00:45:42] VINCE CELLINI, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT. I'm Vince Cellini.
Premier League's superstar Wayne Rooney lived most of his soccer dreams playing for his boyhood team, becoming Manchester United's all- time goal scorer as well as England's and now perhaps taking his talents to the U.S. Reports have the 32-year-old preparing to sign with the D.C. United of MLS. In fact, there's said to be an agreement in principle to play in America's capital. It is believed being offered in the $16 million range. Rooney joined Everton on a two-year deal last summer and the club wants him to stay. Now this is not yet a done deal but what I get he would for D.C. United. Receiving a player with five Premier League titles and a Champions League as well. Turns out Rooney could have been quite the asset for United until their big Thursday match against West Ham in London. With Manchester City leading the way in the table, United had sights set on second in the Premiere League and they played like a satisfied club. United had already secured Champions League football for next season.
Chilean star Alexis Sanchez found only frustration, denied by the home team Spanish keeper, Adrian, who stepped up again to turn away Luke Shaw's for another rebound. Exemplary goal keeping both sides. Nil-nil is how it ends. A former United manager David Moyes shakes hands with the current one. United's first Premier League draw of the year. United Manager Jose Mourinho wanted a point to seal second place behind Manchester City and his team delivered. I guess. Not the most inspiring game. Though Adrian made a series of fine saves to keep the visitors out.
Spurs are also assured of Champions League football for next season. The fourth and final spot up for grabs is between Liverpool and Chelsea. We already know Stoke City and West Brom are relegated. That means one more club will drop with them this Sunday. Swansea City looks to be the most likely to fall following their loss on Tuesday to South Hampton who now appear to be all but safe. Remember clubs to lose their lucrative Premiere League status suffer a huge financial hit when they drop to the second-year championship. It could cost your team tens of millions. Very, very big.
Now, if Wayne Rooney does move to MLS, he might play in the annual all-star game which is against Juventus in August in Atlanta. And Ambassador Edgar Davids has been in town to promote the match. Rooney would follow high profile names like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, heading stateside. The ex-Dutch international enjoyed a highly successful career, winning the 1995 Champions League plus three odd titles. He dropped by CNN Center a little earlier to give our Patrick Snell his take on Major League Soccer continue drawing power.
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PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: When season big name players come over here. Bastian Schweinsteiger recently moving to MLS. More big names likely to come, I would imagine. What is it about the league specifically that you feel continues to attract star power?
EDGAR DAVIDS, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: I think the U.S. in particular because in the U.S. you have the - one of the biggest athletes here. You have the elites, you have football, you have baseball, you have NBA, so you guys already have this culture for cultivating the elite sports. Start from young. And I think that is a great, great culture to grow up in. And I think that by attracting those players that meant a lot for us in Europe, bring here their expertise and their vision. I think you guys really going forward.
SNELL: Is major league soccer, is it becoming then, perhaps you could argue, one of the world's most competitive leagues, what do you think?
DAVIDS: I think they still have a way to go. But this is definitely the step forward. Really how the fans appreciate the game. How the players are playing right now. I think it's a leap forward, to be exact. You know to really be competitive in a few years.
SNELL: We got the big MLS all-star game against Juventus right here in Atlanta in August. How much are you looking forward to it all?
[00:50:00] DAVIDS: I'm excited. To be correct. I was at the game last night, and it was -- it was unbelievable. The fans were unbelievable. The stadium is magnificent. So, I think it's going to be a big celebration for football in Atlanta.
SNELL: So, if you're a soccer fan over here in the States, which Juventus players in particular do you feel fans should be most excited about coming to watch of the current events of squad?
DAVIDS: A couple of things. But you know what? The thing is with Juventus, they have a great team. Their team effort makes it work for them. You know, they're not a Real Madrid that buys only super stars. No. What Juventus is doing is they get commonly unknown players, or big talents, or some big players. And they just make them bigger. And they make a team. And they make it work. But I think that there is a Dyabala, Buffon, if he continues, I hope so. So, you know, you have a couple of them that really can make a difference. But the team is the key for Juventus.
SNELL: Four straight Coppa Italia title last night. A seventh straight now looks highly likely. What impresses you most about this current Juventus team and why?
DAVIDS: What I said before, the team effort. You know, like they bounce back quickly from defeat or disappointing results. And they are very consistent this season. And you know, the strategy is always on point. And the team for effort is for me, the - one of the best so far. And that's what I like. And seven straight titles, is amazing. And, you know, you cannot take that away from them.
CELLINI: Gentlemen, thank you. Still to come, the very Tiger-Phil showdown at the players, basically fizzle. Woods struggled at the finish. Mickelson struggled all day. This was definitely not the good old days.
CELLINI: Tiger Woods returned to the players championship flatline. Rough moments start and finish. But for playing competitor Phil Mickelson, the entire day was awash. Overall, both will battle on Friday to play the weekend. On a scoring day, they gave us a six-way tie at the top at 600 par.
Tiger returned to the players for the first time since 2015. It wasn't so much his putting but the driver that let him down. Just five of 14 fairways. Finding the water at the last and almost finding it on 17. He opened with an even par round of 72.
And not sure which was less fortunate, Phil Mickelson's round or his choice of shirts. A brutal opening round going seven over in a stretch from holes 14 through 17. [00:55:04] Phil carded at 79. The early run featured world number one Dustin Johnson who seemed to try to affirm his status. DJ fired a brilliant bogey 366. His best career round at TPC Sawgrass. And he's part of a Logjam at the top after day one.
Five of the six atop the leader board are American players, a lone exception Alex Noren of Sweden. But perfect editions made this numbers possible for some.
Rory McIlroy T55 AT 100, master champ Patrick Reed T69 and Jordan Spieth shot three over 75. That makes him tied for 108th.
Well, nothing like a game seven in sport. The singular playoff cup contest. That was the case Thursday as NHL Western Conference foes Winnipeg and Nashville took the ice. Evenly matched and alternating wins pushing toward this all or nothing moment. Both teams were two and one on the road. So, no surprise Winnipeg striking first. Tyler Myers at 8-41 is going to make it 1-0 Winnipeg Jets.
But not for long. Just a couple of minutes later, in the first, Paul Stastny doubles the lead. 2-0 Winnipeg is rolling pall. But before it got away, the home team answers P.K. Subban on the powerplay. Nashville cuts the lead in half at 2-1.
What a first period. Second period, Mark Scheifele makes it a two-goal lead again. A one-timer in the net, 3-1 Jets. Stastny hit another in the third. His 6th to post season. 4-1 Jets. And then they put on an empty net or to make it 5-1 Winnipeg to finals. So, Winnipeg hosts Vegas in game one of the conference finals Saturday night.
Formula One fans may soon be planning a trip to the Sunshine State of Florida for a Grand Prix in Miami, possibly as early as next year. On Thursday, Formula One given a preliminary go ahead for 2019. Miami would be the second American city to host a Grand Prix. Following in the footsteps of Austin, Texas. The South Florida's city would stage a street race in the downtown area. Exciting times if you're a sports fan in that part of the world.
Earlier this year, iconic former footballer David Beckham announced the Major League Soccer franchise in the city had been given the go ahead as well.
And that is our time. For all of us here at World Sport. I'm Vince Chellini. Thank you for stopping by and stand by for more news here on CNN.